KINGDOM OF FIFE CYCLE ROUTE
Kirkcaldy to Aberdour (Section 11)
The Kingdom Cycle Route (KCR) forms part of the National Cycle (NCN) Route 1 and is an integral part of the North Sea Cycle route.
The North Sea Cycle route connects mainland Scotland, to Orkney, Shetland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands and England. In all 5,700 km or 3,500 miles of quiet roads and cycle tracks.
The 168 km or 105 miles KCR is a circular route linking the Forth to Tay Bridges, running from North Queensferry to Tayport and back by way of Glenrothes and Kirkcaldy.
This section covers the 14 km or 9 miles from Kirkcaldy to Aberdour.
There is no avoiding hills on this next section: going southbound you have a long gradual climb then a steep descent to the Kinghorn, going northbound the picture is much worse with the steeper gradient climbing from Kinghorn and a long gradual descent towards Kirkcaldy. For riders with heavily loaded tourers it may be better considering missing this section out using the A921 Kinghorn - Kirkcaldy road, which is busier though very much flatter.
1. After passing under the railway bridge on the outskirts of Kirkcaldy, cross directly over the B9157 onto a small side road. This road climbs gently meeting a series of sharp bends as it wends its way along the sides of the fields. The road comes to what looks like a T-junction, turn right and continue climbing to a cross roads.
The next part of the KCR has not been completed, eventually it will continue past the cross roads and turn left, going along a farm track leading down to the Kinghorn - Burntisland Road.
In the mean time the KCR makes a UN-SIGNPOSTED detour towards Kinghorn, turn left and continue to the top of the hill. After passing a telephone mast the road descends steeply meeting a sharp Z-bend half way down. At the bottom there is a turning on the right for Craiencalt Farm Ecology Centre. This road also goes to Kinghorn Loch. It is possible to follow the path from the car park to rejoin the Kinghorn-Burntisland road and the route by turning right.
It is a great shame that the final part of the KCR has turned out to be something to be ashamed of. I can not recommend the next part of the KCR to anyone other than an experienced mountain biker. I would also like to call into question if anyone could actually ride (from Burntisland) up this track without getting off and pushing, certainly no loaded tourer could do it. I would strongly suggest following the UN-SIGNPOSTED route to Kinghorn described below. Someone will get injured on this path.
The KCR continues up the hill, heading for the mast at Craigkelly. The remaining two stones of a stone circle can be seen in a field to the right. Look out for a Scottish Rights of Way Society sign Footpath to Burntisland there is no KCR sign at all. Turn left and follow this rough, bumpy, earthy, and poorly drained farm road. After a while it will go down hill and stop just below a huge settling pond on the hillside. There is no KCR signs, turn left and lift your bike over a horse gate heading down hill until you meet with a path on the right with KCR signs. Turn right and descend very steeply down the ash path as it meanders down to meet the B923 and turn right just in front of the golf club house. Route avoiding the mountain bike track, at the cross roads turn left, there are two trees at the top of the hill and follow this UN SIGNPOSTED road towards Kinghorn, after passing a telephone mast, the road descends steeply meeting a sharp Z-bend half way down. At the bottom there is a turning on the right for Craiencalt Farm Ecology Centre. This road also goes to Kinghorn Loch. It is possible to follow the path from the car park to rejoin the Kinghorn-Burntisland road and the route by turning right.
2. Turn right onto the B923 Road and pass through the least salubrious part of Kinghorn – the Leather Works. During the summer months the smell can not be described as pleasurable. The road then makes it's way around Kinghorn Loch before heading towards Burntisland. (The KCR, when completed will connect with this road near the golf club house.)
3. Do not get too carried away with the descent into Burntisland, shortly after passing the golf club house, the KCR turns left, off the road. Go around the barriers and onto a woodland path, the path passes behind some houses descending gradually to join a road. Note. The path can be a bit slippy at times and may pose problems for bicycles with narrow or slick tyres.
At the end of the path turn right, then descend all the way to the bottom before joining the A921.
Turn right and follow this road all the way through the town centre, then shortly after the mini roundabout outside the Town Hall turn right into Lothian Street. Then go up the hill – note the road narrows at the top and may present a hazard to cyclists from overtaking vehicles.
4. Over the top and descend, look out for a turning on the left into Haugh Road, turn left and follow the road under the railway bridge.
Turn first right and pass beside a settling pond, follow the path under the railway bridge and turn left. Note due to an environmental problem concerning the nearby Alumina works and a lot of rainwater, the path under the bridge is coated with a thick red mud, which has good adhesion qualities, sticks like **** to a blanket!
The quality of the path at this point varies between well-compressed dirt to rough gravel; this is the roughest section of the KCR - Coastal Path.
After passing a small boat yard, continue up the hill for a short distance and take the first left back onto the coastal path, passing a small but nonetheless spectacular waterfall. The path at this point is rather undulating and it is easy to gain speed. Exercise caution as this part of the coastal path is very popular with walkers, especially at week- ends.
5. The path goes down a muddy ramp before going under the railway again. Shortly after, the path takes a sharp left hand turn and emerges onto the Silver Sands Park.
Follow the tarred path, and then turn right onto a grassy road and head uphill. Turn right then left as you emerge onto a rough car park. Continue along this road, the surface gets rougher as it nears a T-junction), turn right and pass the Primary School. The way is not too well signposted in the park.
After passing the ruins of Aberdour Castle, you come up to another T-junction, turn left onto the A921 Continue on this road up and over the railway, then follow the road around to the right.
All Material Copyright Of Wallace Shackleton